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Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a large deciduous tree. The seed, bark, flower, and leaves have historically been used. Horse chestnut seed extract was successfully revalidated as a phytomedicine in Germany in the early 1990s. Clinical trials support the venotonic, vascular protective, and antioxidant properties of Horse Chestnut Seed Extract when standardized to escin, a saponin compound. The seeds' active compounds appear to inhibit enzymes that can damage capillary walls and this also helps to strengthen veins. Horse Chestnut contains significant amounts of a poison called esculin and should not be consumed unprocessed. Fortunately, Horse Chestnut seeds can be processed so that the active chemicals are separated out and concentrated. Horse Chestnut Seed Extract might interfere with anti-coagulants and those on anti-coagulant therapy should use it with caution. Although varicosities often can form during pregnancy, women should avoid the herb if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.